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Examiner
  • Blue Springs School District looks to bolster security

  • The Blue Springs School District has not put a bond issue on the April ballot since 1975 and that unfamiliar territory is forcing numerous bond presentations throughout the community.

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  • The Blue Springs School District has not put a bond issue on the April ballot since 1975 and that unfamiliar territory is forcing numerous bond presentations throughout the community.
    “We had intended to put a bond issue on the ballot next February,” Superintendent Paul Kinder said at the Blue Springs City Council meeting Monday. “But as a result of what happened at Sandy Hook in Newtown, Conn., the Board of Education felt it was important to bring it out now.”
    A $20 million bond issue is on the April 2 ballot in Blue Springs. If approved, about $14 million would go toward safety and security improvements, while the remaining $6 million would go toward additional facility renovations. The bond issue would not raise taxes.
    Normally, the Blue Springs School District opts to place a bond issue on the February ballot. The bid process and therefore construction can get started earlier by doing a February election. However, by the time the board of education voted to place the issue on the ballot, the deadline for February had passed.
    A majority of the security upgrades would go toward securing the entrances at almost half of the district’s buildings. This includes Daniel Young, Franklin Smith, James Lewis, Sunny Pointe, Voy Spears, William Bryant and William Yates elementary schools; Brittany Hill, Sunny Vale, Moreland Ridge and Delta Woods middle schools; and the Blue Springs Freshman Center.
    At the elementary schools, this reconfiguration will be fairly straightforward. However, Kinder said at the middle schools and the Freshman Center, relocating the front office will be more of a challenge, requiring a 5,000-square-foot addition at each of the middle schools. At the Freshmen Center, a 3,000-square-foot addition will have to be constructed.
    “When these buildings (the middle schools) were built 15 to 20 years ago, it was during the middle school concept. They wanted to have the offices centrally located,” Kinder said. “But we feel it is now important to move those officers to the front. We think it is one more line of defense (for the schools).”
    The safety enhancements also include the installation of bullet-proof glass, telephones in every classroom and an expansion of the district’s panic button system.
    The bond issue also would fund several renovation projects. These include upgrading the media center at the Freshman Center as well as renovating the science classrooms to allow for biology. The multipurpose areas at James Lewis, James Walker and Sunny Pointe would also be renovated and the playground surfaces at the elementary schools would be replaced.
    Council Member Ron Fowler said he feels like the community will once again show its support for the school district and the students.
    “This is about our students' safety,” he said. “There is no tax increase, so it is all positive. I sense the community will be supportive of it.”
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